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Why Is There So Much Pleasure in the World?

If you notice a similarity between this article’s title and the title of so many articles, books and conversations, “Why is there so much suffering in the world,” then you are on track with my thinking.

Recently I heard about a pastor who decided to live a “year without God” and feed his doubts for that year. One of the biggest things bothering him was the question of suffering—why a good God would allow it.

But as he turned to skepticism and eventually atheism, an opposite and far bigger question arises—“Why is there so much pleasure in the world?”

Belief in a universe, world and life without a Creator is an immense (and I believe insurmountable) barrier to atheism. If you doubt this statement, I suggest you see an article by Eric Metaxas in the Wall Street Journal, “Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God.” (Apparently it is the most read and commented on article in the history of the WSJ online.)

As Metaxas points out, the odds of a creation without a Creator are astronomically impossible.  

But atheism also begs the question, “Why is there so much pleasure in the world?” If the universe is simply a colossal accident, or, more accurately, the result of an astronomical number of colossal accidents, then why is there so much pleasure?:

  • The amazing beauty of nature
  • The joy of human relationships and love
  • The pleasures of humor and laughter
  • The ecstasy of sex and reproduction
  • The thrill of accomplishments
  • And on and on

Where did all this pleasure come from? Atheists never give God credit for all the pleasure; they only want to complain about the suffering. Talk about seeing the glass half empty!

Many atheists apparently insist that there should be all of these and many more pleasures, with never any pain or suffering, in order for them to believe in God.